People are part of God’s plan: Co-worker Paul - 10 May 2022

By Carina Francke

Paul, the fanatic persecutor of Holy Spirit-filled believers, experienced a powerful change of heart when he was confronted by the risen Christ and the truth of the Gospel on the road to Damascus. (Acts 9:3-5) In no uncertain terms, he later testified of himself: “I eagerly expect and hope that I will be in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” (Philippians 1:20-21) Is this also the declaration over your life?

His faith and commitment to the Lord brought him into disfavour with different people. His public preaching about Jesus Christ, made him an enemy of the Jews. He appeared before the Jewish Council, where was jeered and falsely accused by his own people, and watched closely for anything that made him guilty of violating the Jewish Law. The Pharisees and Sadducees even scuffled among themselves over his steadfast faith in Christian beliefs. That night, the Lord spoke to him: “Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome.” (Acts 23:11, KJV) With the knowledge that the Jews did not have evidence against him, Paul refused to stand trial in Jerusalem, and he appealed to Caesar! (Acts 25:10-12)

He sailed to Rome along with soldiers, ship crew and other convicts. A journey marked by God’s involvement with Paul and the latter’s concern for everyone on board. Fierce winds and the icy fingers of winter hampered the progress of the journey. A heavy storm raged for days on end and eventually forced the crew to throw the cargo overboard. The men finally gave up all hope of being saved. (Acts 27:20)

Paul, as a sent co-worker of God, intervened with the assurance that no one would lose his life – but the ship would run aground. (Acts 27:22-23) An angel of the God to whom he belonged and served, confirmed his commission: “Do not be afraid Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.” (Acts 27:24) NIV

This made me wonder; how often do I conduct a self-examination of my heart to check my commitment to his Word? Do I serve him for what he can do for me, or do I serve him because I genuinely love him? Is my life and love for God and people of such a nature that in his goodness He will save someone else’s life because of me?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, help this unsteady child of yours to stay faithful to you. Your ways with your co-workers speak of goodness and favour. And for that I say, Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Amen